Sean Penn on Green Card Joke: "Absolutely No Apologies"

Sean Penn

"I have a big f— you for … anybody who is so stupid not to have gotten the irony," the actor said about his controversial Oscars comment.

Sean Penn is finally breaking his silence on his controversial Oscars joke.

Last month, Penn presented the award for best picture to Birdman, and before announcing the winner, he said, "Who gave this son of a bitch his green card?" The question, which some viewers found offensive, was a reference to Mexican director Alejandro G. Inarritu, who directed Penn in 2003's 21 Grams

At a promotional event Saturday for his new film The Gunman, the 54-year-old actor defended his comment. "I have absolutely no apologies," Penn told the Associated Press. "In fact, I have a big f— you for … anybody who is so stupid not to have gotten the irony when you've got a country that is so xenophobic."

"If they had their way, you wouldn't have great filmmakers like Alejandro working in this country," Penn continued. "Thank God we do."

Penn explained that he was not expecting people to react so harshly to his joke, as Inarritu himself said shortly after the ceremony that he thought Penn's comment was "hilarious." Penn said about the backlash: "I'm always surprised by flagrant stupidity. I keep having more hope."

The actor said he liked that his joke allowed Inarritu to be "the first person in that room" to know who won.

Twitter: @_RyanGajewski